This is an experiment. Please review to tell us which portion is well written and which portion is not in a polite manner. (Seriously, I need the polite feedback, and constructive crit is very welcomed here if it's politely done.)
Me no own. Sorry I haven't been around, we've been busy with house repairs and all. Don't get me wrong, we got a lot done, but it left very little time and energy to work on hobbies. Likewise, we shoved my two emails together, and now I've lost a lot of notifications. So Winners this time include everyone who reviewed or faved. Thank you for watching.
It was dark by the time they returned to Asgard. The slaughter of the last few soldiers in Jotenheim seemed to take far longer then they'd expected. Their armor still stunk of blood and excrement signature to the battlefield. It was enough to make Laufey's nose clench in offense. He quickly dipped his sword into the deep waters of Asgard's ocean next to their cloaked pathway, washing every drop of blackened fluid from the icy weapon. He quickly tossed his loose armor to the side and knelt down in the clearing pool to wash the evidence off of his hide. His dearest followers mimicked his actions, cleansing their weapons and body so their host wouldn't recognize the stench of war reeking from the flesh. So much work, so much preparation couldn't be undone in an instant of self entitled pride.
He could see the looks of uncertainty on his warriors faces. True, part of him regretted the slaughter, but the portion of the army they'd slain was loyal to Helbindi. They would be missed and mourned, but never forgotten. Like all games of chess, Laufey had sacrificed his pawns to approach the Queen. And to their respect, their untimely deaths at the hands of golden cloaked monsters of Asgard, whose bodies were scattered in between the fallen sons of winter, would be rallied against. Their people would demand justice at the price of war with the Realm Eternal. And surely, as planned, Odin would fall with his prized son busy bedding his new lover.
Loki managed to make it to the gardens after half an hour of shuffling towards the warmth of the outer walls. His body still ached, but he'd promised Thor he would take it easy while his body was still cycling out the remaining pregnenolone remnants from his weakened form. While he was regaining some of the magic that had been dampened by his caretakers potions (more out of fear of Loki having a stroke or a seizure from the high blood pressure that had cropped up after the first week than spite) he still had trouble controlling blasts and lines of any sort. His Dollmaker trick had failed when he cast it on a dejected pillow in the corner. It spun about four times before throwing itself on a lamp, successfully destroying his favorite antique vase in the process. And when he attempted to destroy a rat that had slipped into his bathroom, he only managed to change the color of the sink to a bright pink with green polka dots. Thank goodness Frigga was the first to see that embarrassing little disaster. He was certain Thor would never have allowed him to hear the end of it.
But at least out here in the gardens he could start small with some of mother's flowers instead of irreplaceable furniture. He offered a small stroke to one particularly purple rose, causing it to change to a bright pink as it moved its leaves in a blushing motion. Loki couldn't help but chuckle at the act from the flower. It was a small prize, but an achievement none the less. He paced his way over to the water lilies and danced his finger tips across the water's edge. The lilies all spun into a perfect circle, twirling just slightly as they folded and unfolded against the water. Loki admired his water ballet for a few more minutes after falling backwards onto the stone walk, allowing the rhythmic motions to calm his mind. The itching portion of his ever vigilant brain had effectively decided to keep his ears perked and his eyes nervously casting themselves from side to side while he was trapped in his bedroom.
"Having fun?" A gentle voice came from behind him. Loki opened his eyes to see a familiar ponytailed head eclipsing the sun above him.
"To a degree, yes I am, Sif." Loki said as he pushed himself back up off the stone to address her. She took the seat beside him as she had many times before.
"You seemed to have kept our beloved Dunderer rather busy this past week. He's barely been seen at the training grounds, but I take it you've told him to stop pestering you?" Sif inquired sarcastically as she reached up to brush the trickster's hair from his eyes, much to a subtle protest of grunting. Loki smirked as he nodded happily. Sif chuckled her signature laugh, making sure to nudge the green clad man with her shoulder. Loki smiled and looked back to the flowers, which had managed to tangle themselves together. Loki didn't have the energy to untangle them at the moment, so he grabbed a nearby stick that had fallen from a tree and prodded the nearest flower.
"Well, he is rather tiring in almost every aspect. If he doesn't cease his flexing, he's babbling about his latest trophy. If not for either of those, he's snoring like Fenrir after a heavy meal." Loki sighed.
"Hum- Glad I never had to deal with that. Around us, he's just flexing and yapping." Sif chortled. Loki laughed with her, glad to finally have his friends back.
"And what else has he been up to when I'm not around? He doesn't talk about me,d oes he?" Loki asked out of curiosity masked fear.
"The only things he says about you are how grouchy you are at first light. Other than that, he just can't wait to hop back in bed with you." Sif said nonchalantly as she plucked a misfortunate piece of grass from its home and started to pull it apart. Loki watched her hands as she torn the strand vertically, generating many smaller strands of green to split from her small fingers.
"Did you paint your nails?" Loki had never really noticed before, but her fingernails were very well kept for a warrior. He expected them to be worn and tired with age and battle, but instead, they had a small coat of varnish painted on the very top. It was clear, but it was definitely there. He reached for her hand just as she pulled it away, hiding both of them behind her hip.
"Well- I- um-" Sif stuttered, as if she expected no one to notice. Loki smirked at her.
"It's alright if you did, I was just curious." Loki said as he rubbed his own fingernails, suddenly self conscious of how roughened they'd become over the years of abuse from chemicals and backfiring spells. He normally didn't even pay them much mind outside of when he accidentally scratched himself.
"Well, with Volstagg married and Thor betrothed to you, I realized time is moving forward, is all." Sif dejectedly admitted with a stern glance to Loki's new pendant. Thor had given it to him three days ago in a rather bumbled attempt at wooing him. Somehow, he'd managed to involve three birds, a bucket of ice, and a pile of fruit so heavy, it broke the table that was supporting the platter. Loki had to commend the attempt at romance, but Thor was about as suave as an aardvark in heat.
"And what does that have to do with your nails?" Loki jested, an inkling itching at his brain, but too self conscious to guess out loud with someone he was trying to rebuild a bridge with.
"Well- a talk with your mother brought up my less feminine side. So we sat down and she helped me." Sif spoke uneasily. She'd always had a problem during training when the men would taunted her for being a woman, and this readdressed subject was unwelcome in the realm of Sif. If it wasn't the men, it was the women speaking behind her back. Harsh words of her being unusual, strange, and homely because she refused to wear color and dresses. She'd never made good friends with any woman, but eventually earned her way to Thor's side through battle and a good heart. Her own inner problems never disappeared, but they quieted themselves when she's found her way to such good friendships with the Warriors Three and Thor.
"And clearly, your nails were the most pressing matter." Loki commented as he lifted her muscular yet reasonably sized hand to his in order to observe his mother's handiwork.
"Well, she said it was a good start for me to learn how to take care of my hands first. Then we would move onto the face and clothing. Loki-" Sif started, pausing with uncertainty as she bit her lip.
"Yes?" Loki encouraged as best he could.
"Do you think I'm unattractive?" She asked. Loki was shocked to say the least. He'd never thought someone so confident as Sif would have such an insecurity, and much less speak to him about it. To be honest, he never thought a lot of the things that had happened in the last month would ever occur in his life time, but clear fate had a black mark on his thread.
"You're joking, right?" Loki tried to awkwardly laugh off the unspoken tension between them as he ran his thumb over the smooth nails. Sif jerked her hand away from the chortling prince.
"A simple 'yes' would have sufficed, Loki!" Sif growled as she began to rise from her seat, only to be stopped by the trickster's hand.
"You are far from unattractive Sif. You just caught me off guard by such an odd inquisition. What brought this on?" Loki asked as he pulled her back down into a sitting position. Sif relinquished her stiff shoulders and replaced herself in her former position sitting beside the trickster. Loki gave his stick a toss into the pond, watching as the dead limb floated back to the top of the water to bob in the current. Loki swatted a stinging insect on the back of his neck as soon as it stung him.
"So, how are things on your end?" Sif asked reluctantly. Loki shrugged at first, but then sighed.
"Don't get me wrong, I enjoy our infamous dunder head's jokes and tales, but there are times I would like to be alone. He is rather… 'pressing' when it comes to everyone's needs. He is almost like the shadow I always wanted. I just never thought he'd be this annoying. He's got a kind heart, but I find myself questioning if I did the right thing when I allowed him to fight for my hand." Loki grumbled. Perhaps it was still the hormones, but the question had been rattling around in his head for days now. If he hadn't given Thor the chance to compete in the tournament, would he still have fought? Would the trickster be forced into another's bed? Perhaps Epsilon's? Or someone from another realm? They weren't technically married yet, and he could still grant Thor his freedom. Thor didn't have to be tied to the silver tongue of Asgard. He could have had anyone from the nine realms!
"Loki, Loki, Loki- you are such a little fool." Sif jested. Loki jerked his head up with a confused glance painting his face.
"I am? How so?" Loki insisted.
"Thor never chose another. We've gone through this several times now, dear trickster. Why do you still doubt yourself so?" Sif asked kindly. Loki never thought he'd hear such words from her, but this was clearly a wild time of change.
"He deserves better, Sif! He-He deserves someone who can be a queen and bring every bit of honor available to his court! Not some no account trickster who can't even-" Loki's stuttering rant was silences by a gentle set of fingers to his lips.
"Loki, your past is behind you. You've had your childish fun, now is the time to grow into the crown you deserve. If you are so worried about Thor's honor with you at his side, then you have already begun to grow. You will cease your pranks as time goes by, and you will become the ruler that Thor needs. Stop doubting yourself based on the past. Please. The only thing I see coming from that attitude is hatred." Sif spoke as she placed her hands on his shoulders. Loki took in her words before doing his best not to tell her off. It sounded canned to him at first, perhaps out of frustration and personal hatred of how Asgard loved Lady Sif, but couldn't stand the sight of the coward Prince Loki. It was enough to make him-
A squeal of surprise and a sudden jump backwards was all he saw of Sif before his vomit hit the ground. He didn't stop for another two rounds as fruit and bread forced their way up his throat over and over. Sif called for the guards and a medic as loudly as she could, but found herself turning back to assist a nauseous Loki into sitting up properly. Loki couldn't breathe well, but he did remember two golden cloaked men kneeling beside him as Sif backed away to give him some air. Darkness soon took his vision, and he knew no more of the garden for that day.